Thursday, 4 June 2015

A breakfast encounter with a grey partridge pair

by Dr Francis Buner, Senior Conservation Scientist, GWCT

This morning – while sipping on my Italian cappuccino - I was greeted by ‘my’ grey partridge pair just outside my kitchen window.

As you can see, they are ringed like all the partridges around my house. They are part of our grey partridge re-introduction project and the rings of this pair tell me that the male is a parent-reared cock (hatched and reared by a captive-bred grey partridge) and released with his siblings and genetic parents as an autumn-covey in October 2013.

The female is parent-reared as well but was released this January together with another nine hens to make up for the male bias that we had in our still fragile founder population.

All in all, we counted 7 pairs around my house and 29 pairs across the whole estate. The one visiting our garden is currently breeding somewhere across the drive as it is normally only the cock that makes use of the free and easy food provided for our chickens.

This morning he was cavalier enough to take his partner for a well-deserved breakfast. Partridges are very faithful birds as they mate for life and we have good reason to believe that they are much more faithful than many of us humans.

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  1. A wonderful sight Francis and confirmation that the hard work and research you and your team have been doing is paying off. A neighbour of mine had a similar experience over the past few months when he looked out into his back garden he had seen three Grey Partridge I had released back in October 14. A reassuring for me that the had survived the winter. Keep up the excellent work and I look forward visiting the Rotherfield Restoration estate some day, Regards, Mervyn Walsh, Gorteen Wildlife Conservation Trust.

    1. Hi Mervyn. Thank you for your kind words, much appreciated.